President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Washington. Credit: Evan Vucci | AP

As of 1 p.m. Friday, March 13, test results show that two Maine residents have tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will hold a press conference to address the spiraling coronavirus pandemic as he seeks to calm a panicked nation amid mixed messages and growing criticism of his administration’s scattershot response.

Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Trump plans to declare a national emergency on Friday over the coronavirus outbreak, invoking the Stafford Act to open the door to more federal aid for states and municipalities.

“I will be having a news conference today at 3:00 P.M., The White House,” Trump tweeted. “Topic: CoronaVirus!”

[Interactive map: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in each state]

The news conference comes as the virus edged ever closer to the world’s power centers, including a positive test for a Brazilian official who spent time with Trump and top administration officials last weekend and an Australian Cabinet minister who met with U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s daughter Ivanka among other top aides.

And it comes as the world has been lurching to try to contain the virus’s spread, with millions of students staying home across three continents, large gatherings canceled and more and more bars, restaurants and offices closures.

Watch: Symptoms of the coronavirus disease